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Questions & Answers

What is artificial life?

Artificial or synthetic life is the creation of new life. However there are certain requirements to create a new life. First one being synthesizing a membrane that can maintain the  ionic gradient. As respiration is a basic characteristic of life so this new cell should be able to produce ATP for life activities. It should also be capable of synthesizing macromoles such as carbohydrates and proteins. Moreover this artificial life needs enzymes as without them metabolism is not possible.Last but not the least this artificial life should have stable genetic information and should be capable of passing this genetic information to daughter cells after cell division. 
There are two ways to create an artificial life
  • Bottom up
  • Top down
Bottom up approach involves creating life from scratch including synthesis of all the cellular components. Although this is a fascinating approach, it is very difficult to practically follow this approach and it has not been possible uptil now.
Top down approach however includes the usage of genetic engineering that manipulates the existing prokaryotic cells.

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